About the Speakers
Andrzej Hyla, Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan, is responsible for key commercial growth in major targeted regulated markets across the globe. Wazdan is one of the leading online casino providers that makes unique slots and provides high-quality experiences to its players and casino partners. Wazdan is an award-winning provider and therefore CasinosHunter was interested in his opinion on gambling trends and other issues.
Mike Hunter is a co-founder of CasinosHunter, an online casino reviewing platform that has over 100 casino reviews and software provider overviews for Canadian gamblers. CasinosHunter works on creating useful and educational content for gamblers, including guidelines on payments, play strategies, casino bonuses, casino games, and more. While this reviewing platform is focused on Canada, it has been partnering with software providers in different countries, mainly in terms of content creation.
The online gambling niche develops so fast these days, providers enter new markets, get certifications, and award nominations - Wazdan is a good example since a lot has already happened this year for the company. However, does this general activation in the industry demonstrate that more markets open to it and more governments update their legislation?
We can clearly see that governments worldwide are starting to acknowledge the importance of iGaming regulation, and this is an example that is being followed globally in more emerging territories.
Today, our titles are certified in over 20 jurisdictions worldwide and we’ve entered a number of new markets this year, receiving our Ontario license, as well as our Dutch and Bulgarian certifications. It’s something we’re very proud of, and our commitment to regulated markets is unwavering.
Mike: This is a great global trend that will help make online gambling safer for players since the government agencies of these countries will be behind online casino licensing. I think that this process will be developing for several more years and after its completion, we will be able to fully appreciate all its advantages.
There are huge changes in the online gambling legislation in Ontario, and Wazdan has already received a license in this province. Are other Canadian provinces likely to follow the example? Does Ontario pave the way for a completely new era in Canadian online gambling?
Andrzej: Since the introduction of iGaming and sports betting regulations in Ontario in early April, we’ve seen impressive numbers achieved monthly. It’s a huge milestone not just for the province, but for the entire North American gambling landscape, being the second largest territory regulated, in terms of population size, after New York. Suddenly, other markets in the Northern US have competition, such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
Not only has the legislation served as a huge boost for Ontario, but it can serve as a source of inspiration for other provinces to follow suit.
Much like we’ve seen in the US, momentum can build, and it could prove a pivotal moment for the nation. The potential for growth in Canada is huge, and we look forward to growing our presence in Ontario and beyond.
I’m almost 100% sure that other provinces will follow the example of Ontario. As for me, the regulation of the iGaming market in Ontario is now serving as a testing ground, as it is one of the largest provinces in Canada.
I am sure that after a thorough analysis and working with the drawbacks, the government of Canada will gradually begin to introduce this experience in other provinces. It seems to me, based on the fact that we are still specializing in the Canadian market, we should expect the start of global market regulation in about 1-2 years since the course has already been chosen and Ontario's experience is already showing very good results.
Wazdan has plans to release several games later this year, including 9 Coins™, Power of Gods™: Valhalla, and Sizzling Kingdom™. CasinosHunter reviews numerous slot games, both old and newly released. What makes a high-quality, successful slot today? Are there any key features that make the slot game profitable both for the provider and for the player?
There is no ‘perfect recipe’ for making slots – that’s why each game is different and offers an exciting opportunity. However, we focus on getting an ideal multimedia mix of imagery, design, and audio elements working in harmony.
Combining easy-to-understand gameplay with impressive win potential, engaging bonuses and jackpots can further add to the potent mix. Players will ultimately want to play games that appeal to them, so adding customizable gameplay and innovative features further stand out.
Ultimately, we truly believe in our slots, as we all have a passion for games. Each of our pioneering solutions is well-received by players and known to increase their engagement and deliver proven results to operators. We’ve seen this with our recent releases, Magic Spins™ and 9 Coins™, which incorporate our new Collect to Infinity™ and Cash Infinity™ mechanics, and both games have already outperformed our previous best-performing games.
Our new hit title, Sizzling Kingdom™: Bison, is a perfect combination of our players’ favourite evergreen features and brand-new, innovative solutions. Apart from stunning graphics and animations, the game offers three bonus rounds: Hold the Jackpot, Free Spins, and Wild Rampage. Featuring the engagement-boosting Collect to Infinity™ feature, a number of new Bonus symbols, and wins up to 5000x player’s bet, this beautifully designed slot is a perfect choice for players looking for an immersive gaming experience and big wins.
It is never possible to guess which particular slot will lead the trends. Much depends not even on the slot itself but on the nuances of the market.
We know examples when the same slot could be mega-popular in one country and at the same time completely fail in another, even within the same continent.
For example, Wazdan slots have a huge set of unique features and mechanics, and modern design, which, in combination with a well-chosen theme of the slot, lay an excellent foundation for the success of the game.
Volatility Levels™ feature is a trademark feature of Wazdan that makes its games stand out from the crowd. What other new features start shaping the niche today?
Andrzej: Our Volatility Levels™ gives players the choice to alter the volatility of their game to their choosing, something that doesn’t affect game mechanics but gives them the chance to enjoy a flexible gaming experience. It’s part of our wider commitment to Freedom of Choice™, as evidenced across our customisable features, allowing players to create a style of play that suits their preferences and circumstances.
This is important to us, as our fans are why we create games, and we know that not every experience will solely be in a fixed location, or on the move – if a player’s situation can change, why can’t the game?
Volatility Levels™ is just one element of what we’re trying to bring to the market in terms of driving engagement and retention. This is also evident in our Collect to Infinity™ mechanic, which sees certain symbols remain present throughout bonus rounds and significantly increase win potential in our popular Hold the Jackpot or Free Spins bonus rounds.
In addition, our Cash Infinity™ feature, present in 9 Coins™, adds a new sticky mechanic in base play, increasing the chances of triggering the bonus, something that has resonated extremely well with our players.
We’re also set to launch a new innovative feature, Sticky to Infinity™, in Hot Slot™: Magic Bombs, so there is plenty in the pipeline currently at Wazdan!
Mike: I can’t help but underline that Volatility Levels™ is one of the best features from a player’s point of view, which provides a player with an opportunity to play absolutely any slot with any mechanics and at the same time manage their chances of winning based on the possibilities today and objectively evaluating them.
As for new features, unfortunately, I do not think that they should be expected in the near future. Today, most providers are working on upgrading existing features.
What new online gambling trends, positive or negative, in general, can be seen in the industry in 2022?
Andrzej: It’s always difficult to predict the future, but we’re already seeing a clear trend of players taking control of their gaming experience.
We’re seeing much more demand for greater levels of customisation across all elements of gameplay, and it’s something that is having a real positive impact on player retention for operators and suppliers that can offer flexibility.
Across many nations, we’re seeing tightened legislation and regulation, with player safety truly put at the heart of many jurisdictions, something which can only be positive.
Finally, as is always the case in iGaming, there’s a constant strive for innovative features. From new mechanics to new promotional tools, we always see more and more ideas take shape, and it’s really exciting.
Mike: We have already done quite extensive material with some of our partners in the format of rounds of interviews, which you can find here.
To summarize briefly, the most important trend that everyone expects in the near future is VR gambling in the Metaverse context.
This will fundamentally change the perception and experience of online players. On the other hand, I'm not sure if we should expect this to happen even in 2023, but who knows... anything is possible.
Metaverse is the new word in online gambling due to its potential in VR gambling. What are the real perspectives of VR gambling in the Metaverse?
Andrzej: There’s been plenty of discussion about the potential of the metaverse in iGaming, and how it can be a unique driver of player retention. It’s a space where clear progress is being made, and with technological strides, we can expect VR gambling experiences to be more commonplace, especially in land-based casinos.
However, like all emerging technologies, it will require game developers and operators alike to act swiftly in response to market changes, be it regulation or player-driven, to transition to a new form of entertainment consumption.
Fast movers in the space will definitely gain an advantage, but also, in such a new environment, there’s the potential for player mishandling, and regulation will be needed swiftly to ensure a safe space.
Mike: I can only assume in the context of my previous answer that this will be a really big event for the entire niche.
The years of the pandemic have shown that land-based casinos can close overnight and people who are used to a deeper relationship with gambling will not be able to meet all their entertainment needs online. VR gambling could solve most of these problems and thus provide the players with a new experience.
This roundup Q&A was organized by CasinosHunter.com together with speakers taking part in it. All rights are reserved. If you would like to share this material or part of it, you should provide a clickable backlink to this page as a source.